Double success for UCC GAA as Hurlers clinch Fitzgibbon Cup

Courtesy of

Electric Ireland Fitzgibbon Cup Final

UCC 2-21 MARY I 0-13

By Tomás McCarthy at WIT Arena

A goal of the year contender from Mark Kehoe inspired UCC to their 39th Fitzgibbon Cup triumph at a sunny WIT.

The All Ireland under 21 medallist with Tipperary struck 1-4 from play in a man of the match performance as they ran out 14 point winners over Mary I. A second goal from Conor Browne on 40 minutes ended the game as a contest. A Sigerson and Fitzgibbon double for the first time in 31 years.

The sides traded two points each before Kehoe left the Mary I defence for dead in the eighth minute. He weaved around four Mary I backs, withstood a hefty challenge from Philip Hickey and then blasted past Eoghan Cahill. Three of the Mary I full backs received yellow cards from James Owens before half time. Defender Paddy O’Loughlin and Chris O’Leary were dominant in the UCC half back division despite the loss of Eoghan Murphy to injury.

Three points in a row from Waterford senior Colm Roche left them seven clear by the 22nd minute (1-8 to 0-4). Mary I got the next three including two from top scorer Aaron Gillane. UCC finished the half with the last four points however, two Shane Conway frees, a long distance O’Leary effort and Kehoe from play (1-12 to 0-7).

Gillane and sub Colin English narrowed the gap to six but that was as close as Mary I got. They couldn’t handle Kehoe in the corner and the number thirty tagged on three classy points in the third quarter. On 40 minutes, Browne collected a Darragh Fitzgibbon pass, sped through the centre and rifled to the bottom corner of the Mary I net (2-14 to 0-10).

As a lop sided final petered out, corner back Niall O’Leary got in on act before Cork ace Shane Kingston shot his first point of the day in injury time.

Scorers for UCC: Mark Kehoe 1-4, Shane Conway 0-6 (5fs), Conor Browne 1-1, Colm Roche 0-3, Chris O’Leary 0-2 (2fs), David Griffin, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Robbie O’Flynn, Niall O’Leary, Shane Kingston 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mary I: Aaron Gillane 0-8 (8fs), Michael O’Loughlin, Luke Meade, Thomas Monaghan, Colin O’Brien, Colin English 0-1 each.

UCC: (Cork unless stated) Jack Barry (Castlelyons); Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons), Eddie Gunning (Na Piarsaigh), Killian Dwyer (Killenaule, Tipperary); Chris O’Leary (Valley Rovers), Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields), David Griffin (Carrigaline); Mark Coleman (Blarney), Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock, Limerick); Conor Browne (James Stephens, Kilkenny), Shane Kingston (Douglas), Colm Roche (Shamrocks, Waterford); Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan Kilcash, Tipperary), Shane Conway (Lixnaw, Kerry), Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville).

Subs: Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own) for Murphy (15), David Lowney (Clonakilty) for Dwyer (53), Darragh Lynch (Passage, Waterford) for O’Leary (53), Ross Donohue (Buffers Alley, Wexford) for Roche (58), Dara Walsh (Eire Og Ennis, Clare) for Fitzgibbon (59).

MARY I: Eoghan Cahill (Birr, Offaly); Seamus Downey (Clonlara, Clare), David Prendergast (Lismore, Waterford), Eoghan Ryan (Loughmore Castleiney, Tipperary); Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh, Limerick), Darren Browne (Kanturk, Cork), Craig Morgan (Kilruane McDonaghs, Tipperary); Luke Meade (Newcestown, Cork), Philip Hickey (Eire Og Nenagh, Tipperary); Thomas Monaghan (Craughwell, Galway), Gary Cooney (O’Callaghans Mills, Clare), Colin O’Brien (Liscarroll, Cork); Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell, Limerick), Colin Guilfoyle (Newmarket on Fergus, Clare), Michael O’Loughlin (Clonlara, Clare).

Subs: Brian Buckley (Dromina, Cork) for Downey (16), Colin English (Fr Sheehys, Tipperary) for O’Loughlin (H-T), Sean Burke (Grenagh, Cork) for Cooney (47), Ray McCormack (Borris-Ileigh, Tipperary) for O’Brien (50).

REFEREE: James Owens (Wexford).